Community Standards of Behavior
Terms and Definitions
The following terms and definitions are operative in all Sections of “Rights and Responsibilities.” Some Sections contain additional terms that are specific to their topic.
Accomodations are reasonable academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services, and modifications that support access to campus programs and processes for students with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Accommodations may be added supports, the removal of barriers, or modifications to materials, practices, or spaces. Requests for accommodations that would fundamentally alter the nature of a course, program, or activity or impose an undue burden on the University may not be considered reasonable and may not be approved.
A “contract” resulting from a process between a student who has accepted responsibility and a Hearing Officer that establishes sanctions that are mutually agreed to. The sanctions will be decided with the purpose of educating the individual as to why the documented behavior was inappropriate. It should also mitigate any negative impact of the behavior, as well as protect the community
For cases that are handled within the Student Conduct Process (SCP), students may choose to have their case heard by a single Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will listen to the information provided by the student, may call additional witnesses, and will render a decision of “responsible” or “not responsible.” The student may appeal this decision by following the appeals process.
Any person who serves as a passive support person to an initiating party or responding party during an official meeting that is part of a formal adjudication process. The criteria for the selection of an Advisor and their role within the process differs between a Student Conduct Process (SCP) and the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) Formal Complaint Process. Information regarding advisors for the Student Conduct Process is detailed within this document. Relevant information for the OEO Formal Complaint Process can be found on the OEO website. Though Advisors are a potentially important source of support and guidance, an Advisor’s participation is not required for either party’s progression through the adjudication process. An Advisor may not also serve as a witness.
Amnesty may be granted to students who report behaviors that may violate University policies. This means that reporting students may not be subjected to conduct action for minor code infractions discovered as a result of contacting University officials or support staff (see also “Medical Amnesty Policy” under Section 5.). The SSAO or designee reserves the right to take action to protect the health and safety of individuals and the community (see Section 21).
A staff member in the Department of Community Living with responsibility for overseeing a residence hall area on campus.
Oversees the Department of Community Living. This staff member also co-chairs the University’s Care Team.
Any individual with an active status as a faculty member, staff member, employee, or student. Students who are inactive for any reason are not community members for purposes of “Rights and Responsibilities.” Employees on involuntary leave and alumni are not community members within the scope of “Rights and Responsibilities” unless they hold another active affiliation.
An official report to the University’s Department of PublicSafety and University Police about the behavior of a student or another person. A Brandeis Police Report does not automatically initiate a formal adjudication process.
Days on which the University’s business operation is active, as indicated by the Office of Human Resources. Floating holidays are holidays when classes are in session (e.g. Indigenous People’s Day and Patriot’s Day) are considered business days.
All days on the calendar, including weekends, holidays, recesses, class days, and business days.
In response to a Community Standards Report (CSR), the responding party uses the Choice of Action Form to formally accept or deny responsibility for each alleged policy violation contained in the CSR.
Days on which the University Registrar has indicated that classes are in session. Final exam periods and Senior Week are also included as class days. University holidays (during which classes are suspended) and recesses are excluded from class days.
An official report to the University’s Department of Student Rights and Community Standards about the behavior of a student or another person outside of issues of discrimination, harassment and sexual violence. A CSR may be submitted by a person who self-identifies or by a person who wishes to remain anonymous. A CSR is required to initiate a formal adjudication process with DSRCS, unless an Administrative Complaint process is being initiated. A CSR does not automatically initiate a formal adjudication process. The reporter must first self-identify and choose to initiate a formal adjudication process. Upon choosing to initiate a formal adjudication process, the reporter becomes an initiating party. The CSR will be shown, with redactions as necessary to protect privacy, to the responding party. The Community Standards Report is a web-based form. Reports regarding issues of discrimination, harassment and/or sexual violence can be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO).
An administrative staff member who has the responsibility for the quality of undergraduate and graduate student life outside the classroom.
Comprised of staff responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of student life outside of the classroom.
Charged with the supervision of Brandeis residential housing and communities, the Department of Community Living staff works to establish a quality living environment, facilitate strong leadership
development of community members, and foster the development of the individual.
The Department of Facilities Services is responsible for the maintaining all buildings and grounds on the Brandeis campus including, but not limited to, building repairs and maintenance, snow removal and sidewalk salting and sanding, and door lock and custodial maintenance.
The Department of Student Engagement empowers students to engage, learn, and lead in their communities on and off campus. The department plans and supports campus-wide programs and events to enhance student experiences outside of the classroom and offers opportunities to engage in community service.
The department that oversees the Student Conduct Process. The SSAO designates a staff member to serve as the Hearing Officer overseeing each case, or delegates to a member of the Dean of Students Office the authority to designate a Hearing Officer for any given case as circumstances require.
Any verbal or written description of a student’s behavior made in good faith by means other than a Brandeis Police Report or Community Standards Report. Emailed or posted correspondence is a disclosure. A disclosure cannot initiate a formal adjudication process unless a CSR is subsequently filed or if an Administrative Complaint is being initiated.
Overseen by the Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO), the Division of Student Affairs includes a collection of departments focused on supporting all aspects of student success, health and development as well as engaging the broader Brandeis community. Offices within Student Affairs include but may not be limited to Athletics, Community Living, Dean of Students Office, Orientation, Graduate Affairs, Hiatt Career Center, Brandeis Counseling Center, Health Center, Hillel, Health and Wellness Promotion, Spiritual Life, Student Engagement, Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center, and Student Rights and Community Standards.
Any records or other information retained by the University can be subject to production by court order.
Any person currently employed by Brandeis University who instructs a course that is listed on an official transcript or who is listed in the Faculty Guide.
An internal University adjudication process through DSRCS which requires that a CSR has been submitted by a reporter who wishes to serve as a willing initiating party or that the University is moving forward with an Administrative Complaint. The result of formal adjudication may include sanctions and/or protective measures if the responding party is found responsible for one or more violations of “Rights and Responsibilities.” The Student Conduct Process (SCP) and University Sanctions as described within Rights and Responsibilities are examples of formal adjudications. Issues of discrimination, harassment and sexual violence are addressed through the OEO Formal Complaint Process and the Title IX Grievance Process.
The staff member assigned to adjudicate an alleged violation of “Rights and Responsibilities,” including, but not limited to, a Student Rights and Community Standards staff member, a Dean of Students Office staff member, or a Community Living staff member.
A person who experienced the alleged conduct that was submitted through a Community Standards Report and then chose to initiate a formal adjudication process. Only Brandeis community members (Brandeis students, staff, and faculty) may serve as initiating parties in a Student Conduct Process. Please see the Formal Complaint Process: Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment & Sexual Violence for information regarding who can be an initiating party in the OEO's resolution process.
Immediate measures that may be taken after a report has been received, pending the outcome of any investigation or formal conduct process, to protect the initiating party. Note: Interim measures may be immediate and may be put in place before the formal filing of a Community Standards Report (CSR). Such measures may include, but are not limited to, No Contact Orders, relocation of residence hall room, or restricting the responding party’s movements on campus. An individual may be subject to interim measures pending the outcome of any investigation or formal adjudication process, including: removal from certain roles or positions, University Actions and restrictions (see Section 21), or Emergency Suspension (see Section 21.2.). In all cases, the DOS Office reserves the right to maintain, amend, add, or remove interim measures at any time as deemed appropriate.
An order stating that a student is restricted from contact with a named individual(s) through verbal, physical, or electronic means or via third parties. It is understood that the nature of the Brandeis University environment does not mean that the parties to an NCO will not see each other on campus, but rather, reasonable compliance is expected and any unnecessary contact must be avoided. Further, it puts written guidelines in place to prohibit contact. Incidental contact, however, will not be considered a violation. Incidental contact may include unintentionally passing on campus or unexpectedly seeing the other party in an on-campus building. With incidental contact, it is typically the responsibility of the last party to arrive to remove themselves from the situation. A No Contact Order is neither a sanction nor a conduct outcome. It is a protective measure meant to preserve the safety of the initiating party and/or the campus community. NCOs are administered by the Dean of Students Office (DOSO) in accordance with Section 21. Any alleged violations of an NCO should be reported to the DOSO and will receive appropriate response, which may include University Action such as restriction from events or locations.
An assigned Investigator who oversees inquiries and investigations into allegations of discrimination, harassment or sexual violence.
An informal and formal adjudication process that addresses allegations of discrimination, harassment and sexual violence. For more information please see the Formal Complaint Process: Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment & Sexual Violence and Title IX Grievance Process.
Data, in any medium (digital, handwritten, typed, etc.), that are retained in a student’s conduct history file or other official student record. CSRs, Choice of Action Forms, Hearing Reports, Incident Reports, and relevant OEO documentation (as referenced in the Formal Complaint Process: Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Violence and the Title IX Grievance) are a few examples of records. At the discretion of the appropriate administrator of the relevant portion of a student record, data, including process information, notes, and correspondence relating to any particular case, may not be included as a record.
An official University disclosure document that describes the behavior of a student or another person. Reports include Brandeis Police Reports and Community Standards Reports. Emailed or posted correspondence is not a report.
Any person who has filed a Community Standards Report in good faith that includes the filer’s identity. Anonymous persons are not reporters.
Any Brandeis student who has been accused of an alleged policy violation of “Rights and Responsibilities” by an initiating party in a formal adjudication process or in an Administrative Complaint.
Restorative Justice “is a philosophical approach that embraces the reparation of harm, healing of trauma, reconciliation of interpersonal conflict, reduction of social inequality, and reintegration of people who have been marginalized and outcast.” Central to RJ is collaborative decision making that includes community members such as those who have been harmed and those who have caused harm along with others impacted by the harm. RJ depends upon all parties freely choosing to participate and upon those who have caused harm both acknowledging responsibility for the harm they caused to others and repairing the harm they caused to the best of their ability.
When a student is found responsible for one or more policy violations in a formal adjudication process, the determined sanctions may include sanctions (and/or protective measures).
The SSAO oversees the staff members responsible for implementing the policies and procedures found in “Rights and Responsibilities,” including formal and informal adjudication processes. Whenever the position of SSAO is referenced in “Rights and Responsibilities,” it also includes any designee(s). The SSAO is designated by the President of the University. The current Senior Student Affairs Officer is the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA), who may serve, or designate a staff member to serve, in the role of SSAO for any given case as circumstances require.
Any person who is employed by Brandeis University. Staff may include faculty or employed students. The term “administrator” is incorporated into this definition. It typically includes sub-contracted individuals as well.
Any person enrolled and matriculated* in any (undergraduate or graduate) academic program or course at Brandeis University, including Brandeis-sponsored distance or Internet- based courses, up to and including the student’s commencement day, or the last day of evaluation for non-degree students. *Rights and Responsibilities shall also apply to enrolled pre-matriculated students once they arrive for their first year at Brandeis (e.g. move-in, pre-orientation, early arrival for athletics, orientation, etc., whether virtually or in-person) but prior to the official start of their first semester.
The office that manages student requests for academic and non-academic disability-related accommodations.
An entity that formally adjudicates students in the Student Conduct Process (SCP). The SCB shall hear cases of alleged policy violations of “Rights and Responsibilities,” that are referred to it by the DSRCS, except for allegations of harassment, discrimination, or sexual violence.
A formal adjudication process that addresses alleged policy violations of “Rights and Responsibilities,” other than allegations of harassment, discrimination, or sexual violence. The SCP is detailed in Section 18.
The University’s Title IX Coordinator oversees all aspects of the University’s compliance with Title IX. The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) serves as Brandeis’ Title IX Coordinator.
Brandeis University, as represented by the relevant administrative authority. The University is the primary authority in all conduct matters, including the Student Conduct Process and the OEO Formal Complaint Process.
Hears appeals of decisions resulting from an SCP or OEO Formal Complaint Process, and the Title IX Grievance Process as well as appeals of decisions of any ad hoc board formed at the discretion of the SSAO or designee.
Any faculty or staff person acting on behalf of the University.
Measures that may be taken as a result of an investigation to protect the initiating party as well as the community. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, No Contact Orders, relocation of residence hall room, or restricting the responding party’s movements on, or access to, campus. In order to request a change to a University Restriction, a student must meet with a member of the Dean of Students Office Staff. See Section 21 for additional details.